New Music: O Emperor – Holy Fool

It’s Sunday morning and I’m about to have my first cup of coffee. I’ve had five minutes to spare so I spent them wandering around bandcamp. I got pretty lost. There’s just so much in there. I had to adopt the same approach that I take when trying to decide what beer or wine to experiment with. What does the label look like ? Do i like the name ?

And that, O Emperor, is how I came across you. So hats off to whoever did the design for your album “Vitreous” (coming out in June) – the logo was neat and attention-grabbing, the artwork was interesting and your band name doesn’t suck. On the subject of band names, seriously, someone needs to get out there and start advising people. It’s like choosing baby names – you’re in a position to damn the child/band for life. Think carefully. I’m ready to consult.

But back to O Emperor. You’re taking advantage of me in my weakened state. I’m tired, the sun is shining beautifully over North London for the first time in fucking weeks (months ?), the wind is up and the day is demanding that SOMETHING BE DONE.

So is “Holy Fool”. I’m really enjoying the video. The opening minute-or-so features some clean-cut looking young men – except for the one with the ‘tache, but then that’s a plus because I am all about the facial hair.  There are some uncomfortable up-nostril moments in the montage of surprised, fuzzy black-and-white faces but overall it combines with the drive of the song to propel you onwards. And then at about 50 seconds things go MENTAL.

And then someone’s head expands, twists over itself and ends up spiralling out of control as the pleasant chug of rhythm guitar and drums blooms alongside fluttering keyboards and some rising lead guitar. The video goes all tecnicolour on us and we’re entering into a full-on freakout. There’s a tambourine. And the guitarist disappears into a red outline, like he’s had his veins plastinated by Gunther Von Hagen and then electrified.  That or he’s been replaced by nuclear-charged licorice bootlaces. Next up – aaagh ! – faces melt into each other and the time tunnel reappears before Frank Zappa’s reanimated corpse shows up inside a lightning storm. Obivously he’s not surprised, he’s Frank fucking Zappa, but he is surprising you – and jauntily waving. All of this electrical video tomfoolery almost stops you listening to the bridge – don’t, it is dreamily magnificent. I’ll be thinking of it when I’m deeply breathing country air on a hilltop this afternoon in the driving wind.

Then we’re back into the warm, friendly arms of the verse but just as you settle, that’s it. “Whaaattt !!??” you scream and then click refresh. I’m going back in; see ya !

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